Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Nailaholics celebrate #NationalPamperingDay again!

Being the busy mothers that we are, having breaks are necessary from time to time. Pampering usually is on the top list as it doesn't require that amount of time and money to get one.
 
When it comes to pampering on a national scale, Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa holds the only spot. After introducing the celebration of the National Pampering Day last year, Nailaholics is back at it again this 2017 with an amplified nationwide celebration of relaxation that everyone is looking forward to this October 17

The National Pampering Day got off to a good start last year where Nailaholics offered free manicure service and a stress relieving hand massage from 10 AM to 12 NN on all their branches nationwide. This year, everyone will be treated to a free service of their choice: a soothing manicure, calming foot spa or a relaxing foot massage. 

“We Filipinos are very hardworking in any given aspect of our lives and a nation of energetic and industrious people best deserves real pampering once in a while. This year, as Nailaholics celebrates the 2nd National Pampering Day, we go deeper and dedicate this to everyone and remind them to take it slow, take it easy, zone out and relax for a while.” said Arvin Amaro, Marketing Head of Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa. 

“With last year’s success of the National Pampering Day, we are back this year with a bigger and much more enjoyable day of pampering. In partnership with the number one salon brand and most beloved nail lacquer brand in the world, O.P.I., National Pampering Day 2017 will accommodate more guests with the extension of pampering time until 1PM.  Also, the best thing about this year’s National Pampering Day is that it will be in support to World Vision, The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), and Save Philippine Seas” added Amaro. 

So save the date and get ready to park away any thoughts of work because the only responsibility you have is to loosen up. Wind down and head down to any Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa branch on October 17, 2017 (Tuesday) from 10 AM to 1 PM and get yourself a free relaxing manicure, foot spa or foot massage. 

Let Nailaholics’ skilled nail technicians take care of you for a little while and walk out of this Hamptons-inspired nail salon feeling refreshed and ready to bring it on again. Grab this once a year treat only at the country’s top destination for relaxation and real pampering. 

Visit www.nailaholics.com to check their services and find the branch nearest you. Get updates through their Facebook Page Nailaholics Nail Salon and Spa, Twitter @_nailaholics and Instagram @_nailaholics.
 
Nailaholics is an urban destination that offers its customers an escape from the daily grind through its exceptional interiors and exceptional pampering service. It currently has more than 50 branches nationwide, including in Gateway Mall, Eastwood Citywalk, Cash and Carry Makati, Harbor Point Mall Subic, SM Cebu, SM Bacolod, and SM Lanang.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Re-visiting Goals for 2017

It's 5 months before the Holidays!

Can you believe it? Sobrang bilis ng panahon!

Imagine! August na ngayon? How could it be? Samantalang parang kahapon lang nung nag birthday ako?!

So how're your goals doing? Are you on track or lost? Last month was the perfect time to reassess your goals and re-visit the plans you have listed down. The next best time is today. We still have 5 months before the year ends and for me, there's still a chance to go back on track.

If you wish to look back on the goals I have written early this year, please feel free to read through.

I seriously had some ups and downs this year and there were areas that I felt I achieved earlier than what I expected while I lack some courage to push on the other.

To make my goals a lot more manageable, I divided it into sections.

Personal Goals

I wrote down 7 goals and I am at 3 out of 7 at the moment. I am looking to accomplish more than that for the remaining months of 2017. I am happy how it turned out so far and I'll do my best to make it happen. =)

  • Attend Workshops -  I haven't done anything related to baking so far since I got so busy and focused with my new role in the office. Gusto ko muna kasing magamay ang lahat although I am looking to go back to baking anytime soon since it's almost BER months were baked goods are at its peak.
  • Hair Transformation - Eto wala pa talaga because I have a lot of financial things going on at this point that are much more important. However, this can be done throughout the year.
  • Vaccine -  rainy days are here and virus are everywhere due to inclement weather. Last year, we were able to get a cheaper price here in the office but it's different now. It's 50% price increase so I decided to look elsewhere. Good thing Jami isn't catching any virus just yet. I will have to contact his pedia for a cheaper flu vaccine in the coming days/weeks.
  • Loose Weight -  I was able to loose 8kgs in a matter of 3 months. I stopped at 57kgs since I am hearing a lot of side comments na wag na daw masyadong magpapayat. Honestly, I like my body now, I just need to have to work it out to make all muscles firm. Next move: Maintain the weight. :p
  • Read another book - I wrote that I want to read new books about finances. I haven't done one but I was able to read Harry Potter books - all of them. Next move: Read another book.
  • Be Punctual - This doesn't apply to my work at this time since we have a flexible schedule. I am part of another team now that handles back office tasks so schedules aren't that strict. Just as long as we go to work at a time we are expected to, all's good. I would like to tag it success because I was able to limit the amount of late to only twice in the first 3 months of the year which resulted to being promoted to work. =) Next move: Continue the hard work.

Family Goals

Family  is really important for me so to strengthen the bond, I separated my goals for my family. So far, we were able to reach 3 out of 5.
  • Travel - this year, we had more travel than what we have expected. Having that said, I could say we could stop at that for the year and plan na lang where to go next year.
    • Calaguas Island, Camarines Norte
    • Stilts Calatagan Beach Resort, Calatagan Batangas
    • Gigantes Island in Ilo-ilo
    • Guimaras Island
    • Bacolod City
    • Next Move: Save up for for travel fund (for next year).
  • Family Time - I am glad to say that we are spending more time together because we only have limited time everyday. Daryl started working last month so we barely see each other during weekdays or weekends. His rest days are on weekdays and mine is on weekends. Even so, when we get the chance at home, we often cuddle and make time for each other including Jami. Next Move: movie time. =)
  • Home Cooked Meals - We have been working on eating home cooked meals. Aside from the fact that we are trying to cut cost, I want to make sure that the food they eat are clean. So far, I would say it's a success since I am planning our food sometimes. Next move: Consistency in planning meals! 
  •  Staycation and Photoshoot - are the two least priority of all. When our finance allow, we'll proceed with it but surely, I can go by without these muna because I need to focus on building funds first.

 Relationship Goals

  • Eat Out/Date Night/Movie together/Spa Together - Well, Daryl started working and we have different rest days so we really can't do this soon. Quite frankly, we don't have a budget for it and we are trying to live below our means so this can wait. I sure enjoy the days we spend kulitan in the house and I am contented with that. 
  • Cuddle and Kiss more often - Yes! We are cuddling more than the previous year! Hahaha. I mean, we fight less now since we have one thing to stop fighting about - money. I also realized that we have to cuddle and kiss often to keep the fire burning so if there's a chance, before he goes to sleep or vice versa, cuddle cuddle muna. =)
  • Complement more - I do complement him not that often but if I get the chance and he does something really need to praise. I thank him for his hard work now that he helps with the bills and rent. I also say nice things when I noticed something new with him like hair. 
  • Understand each other more - It has always been me who's hot tempered among us so I did a lot of effort to at least minimize the amount of negative thinking. When we are about to argue, I am trying my best not to let the arguments get longer or if I am being sensitive to what he's saying, I am trying to think less. Although I am hot-tempered on some minor things, I could easily forget what I am mad about after some time. With that, we kiss and make-up quite easily pero he has to get ready with explanations when I remembered why I was mad 2 weeks ago. hahahaha! Baliw lang.

Financial Goals

  •  Beef up Emergency Fund -I know! Eto na naman tayo sa emergency fund hanggang ngayon wala pa rin! Hahaha! We just had a lot of expenses the last 7 months so it was really a struggle to save money. Also, I don't know what happen but because of debts, I was so scared to budget our money because I know it's going to be negative. It turned out really bad for the last couple of months. Good thing Daryl started his new job in June which means we will be able to catch up on this part. We still have 5 months before the year ends so hopefully kahit 1 month worth of expenses lang makapagtabi kami. Next move: Save at least a month worth until December.
  • School Fund - I was really looking to pay for Jami's tuition in cash however, the second quarter of the year went quite bad so we took the installment instead. The amount is manageable and since I started budgeting the money again last month, it's going really well and never felt a burden. Next move: Start saving in November up to May for next school year.
  • Coin to Piggy Bank - Just last month, I got hooked in saving 10 peso coins! I have read a lot of 50 peso challenge where every 50 peso bill that comes in to your hands, it's invisible for spending and should go to savings immediately. Since money is tight, I know the most that I can manage is 10 pesos and so far, I have collected some that I am looking to deposit to my ATM which will be used for the coming holiday season in December. =) Next Move: Continue collecting and deposit the money on ATM for holiday fund.
  • Travel Fund - No travel fund for the rest of the year since we had a lot of traveling for the first 6 months. I am looking to save some when our debts are fully paid. Next move: Plan our next travel and save for it before summer next year.
  • More Sideline/Additional Income - we are restarting our business so we could pay our debts faster and get more money saved. Next move: Earn from these sidelines to finish paying our debts.
  • SSS Loan Update - I was able to take advantage of SSS' loan restructuring program late April so I am now paying my old salary loan slowly. So far, I managed to pay 4 consecutive months which I'll share with you on a separate post. Next move: Continue paying for the next 20 months.
These are the goals I have listed down when the year started and the status of each goals so far. I am so glad that I am making progress in most of them. It's a good thing to look back at them once in a while to make sure that these goals are up to date and will have at least a tiny progress.

How about you guys? Kamusta ang mga goals? Buhay pa ba? Hehehe!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Day Tour in Guimaras Island


Guimaras is so close to Ilo-ilo city, it's 15 minutes away so our original plan was to make it on the second day for a tour then early morning for our island hopping. However, we got all tired after our Gigantes Island and the way back so we enjoyed our stay in Circle Inn Hotel for the remaining hours of our day two.

Early morning of our third day, we skipped breakfast and headed to Ortiz wharf which is walking distance away from the hotel. My sister paid for our fare that costs Php14/head while the kids are free. We were asked to register our names then headed off to the docking area. Immediately, a boat is available to pick us up. It was a big passenger boat where bikes and motorcycle can be transported to and from Guimaras. We left couple of minutes after when every one else have settled down.



We only waited for about 10-15 minutes when we reached Jordan port in Guimaras. Transportation are available every couple of minutes so commuting isn't a problem.

There was a man who offered a tour in Guimaras. Since we didn't have reservations, we bargained with him. Of course bago mag tawaran, we took pictures where a Guimaras sign with a big mango was. It was a good thing it's quiet hidden, wala masyadong tao kaming kasunod. Lol!




Going back to bargain, the manong offered us the multicab tour for Php 2,000 but we managed to bring it down to Php1,500. Perks ng may ateng charming! hahahah. Well, sabi nya kasi "bakit sa online Php1,500 lang?" Hehe. So the manong gave in and just ask us to wait for couple of minutes until the multi-cab is ready. We were a total of 6 adults and 3 kids so we fit in to the cab comfortably. Oh by the way, we decided to take the light house and skipped the wind mill since it's quite far daw and we have to make additional payments. Due to a very constricted time, we would rather visit the light house since we were able to see the best wind mill so far - the one in Ilocos - Bangui Wind Mill (Farm).

Smallest Plaza

The Smallest Plaza is just along the way so we had our stop over for some pictures. The driver said that it's in the Guiness book of record for making it to being the smallest plaza there is. It was just a quick stop over so I don't have a nicer photos. We used my sister's phone and opted to go to Island hopping first before going to island tour.





We headed straight to Raymen's beach where our driver made an arrangement for our island hopping. We were expecting for it to be about Php500 for the first hour then Php150 for the succeeding hour. The driver went back and said that the resort ran out of boat for hopping but he managed to convince another boatman for Php1000 for 3 hours of island hopping. There's a Php200 difference but to avoid anymore hassle, we said we'll go. We didn't have a reservation, you see so we can't be so sure if the driver made additional profit of Php200 out of it. Just so we can get over with, we decided to take the offer.

Ang hirap mag maintain ng bangs ha! :p


Alubihod Beach

Raymen's Beach Resort is located in Alubihod beach. This beach has a fine sand with nice and clean water so the family could definitely enjoy it. There were a lot of people going on swimming that day so to save time, we decided to proceed with our island hopping tour. The boat picked us on the farther left of the photo above.

The boatmen said that waves were kinda rough so there were places that we can't go to. We passed by Turtle Island (where Turtles lay their eggs), Baras Cave, and Fairy Castle. We weren't able to go to Baras Cave because of the strong waves, while we didn't drop by to Fairy Castle and Turtle Island. Instead, the boat men brought us to Ave Maria where we had a little swim.

Ave Maria Islet

Mejo mabato at some part so better to wear an aqua shoe. There was also food for merienda being sold but expect it to be quite expensive.We spent a good 30 minutes swimming on the shallow part. Alam nyo naman, di ako marunong lumangoy. Haha!

Oh by the way, we save a dead pawikan on our way to Ave Maria Islet. Sabi ng boatmen, dead na daw yan! =(


I had a mixed feeling seeing this turtle this close. It made me sad na its dead but I am so excited to see it. The last time I saw one alive eh nung bata pa talaga ako, around grade 2? It made me so much more excited to go to Apo Island in Negros Oriental tuloy. hahaha! #travelgoals.

Our next stop was Lamurawan island. This island has a view deck where you could see 7 more islets.Take note that there's no entrance fee but a donation box placed before you descend back to your boat.

The view deck. Sayang naman, merong kahoy! =(
Our last stop was a newly built floating deck. We spent all the remaining hours of island hopping there because we can't visit the other location in our list. Please be reminded that the tour will depend solely on the condition of the sea. The boat is really small for it to go in an the open water specially if the waves are too risky.

Although our island hopping wasn't as exciting as it sound since we only visited a few, we had fun time on the floating deck where Nanay got the chance to jump 6-8ft high. Haha! The floating deck had a jumping site for some adrenaline rush.

Exactly 3 hours after, we head back to Raymen Beach to wash up. It was around lunch time when we came back and the sun was scorching hot but there were a lot of people enjoying the beach. I think there were also team building going on when we were there.

There were restrooms available near the beach but since there were plenty of people around, we have to wait for our turn. The worst part was, the water supply was very limited! As in malakas pa ang ihi ko compared to the pressure of water coming out of the shower. Sobrang frustrating at some point since you can't take a bath properly. Anyway, what you can do? Pagtyagaan na lang. I wondered if the supply inside their rooms were also like that?

Anyway, after some time, we were done so we head on to their restaurant to have lunch. Sorry no photos again, I don't know why I wasn't taking photos of our food. Sobrang gutom na, I guess? =D

I want to commend their restaurant. All the disappointment I had on their bathroom water supply were gone because they served delicious food, we enjoyed it. Take note that you can't trust me with food tasting ha? Mejo bias ako eh bilang picky eater talaga ako sa tunay na buhay! hahah. :P Mejo maliit nga lang yung restaurant nila so you have to wait during lunch time kasi mejo madami yung tao.

After our lunch, we headed back to our multi -cab so we could proceed with our island/city tour.

Guisi Light House


Since Guisi Light house is the farthest, this was our first stop for our city tour. From Raymen Beach Resort, it took around 20 minutes before we reached the location. Please be reminded that the multi cab can't take you to the actual Light house so you have to trek a little bit. It's a short trek by the way and the path is shaded naman so there weren't so much to worry about.

View along the way


When we get there, several group of people were there too not to mention that it was after lunch time so mainit talaga. What you'll see there was a light house ruin and the beautiful view of the beach with fresh air and cool wind.




I don't have much photos of the place since Jami fell asleep on our way here. I have to carry him on our short trek since I can't leave him alone sa multicab so tiis ganda talaga ako going up! hahah. I was so glad to finally see the end part and ang view, talaga naman nakakawala ng pagod. We spent arouind 20-30 minutes in this place just to cool down a bit. Guisi Light house asks for donation that you can drop on a box along the way. There were also souvenirs and local snacks being sold on your way. 

Our next stop was Trappist Monastery where souvenir items are being sold. Somewhat, this was Guimaras' most known souvenir store. There were ref magnets, bags, hats, local food pasalubong available at around Php35-Php150. 




I actually can't wait to try Mangoes of Guimaras at this point. Kating-kati na akong kumain ng mango being a fan myself! Our driver dropped us off in a small store on our way back to the town proper. He said it's cheaper there since the store have their own mango farm compared to the one's in the town proper na mejo pricey na. 

I bought around 1.4kgs of Mango as pasalubong. The price per kilo is Php65. O.M.G I can't believe it samantalang dito sa Manila, sobrang expensive na. Gusto ko talaga bumili ng madami kaso iniisip ko, it's just Jami and I on our way back to Manila so I can't carry all of it myself, so sad lang. =(

As soon as we got down the multicab, biglang dumami yung tao! Pakyaw levels din sila grabe! I said to myself, iba siguro talaga ang mangga ng Guimaras! Gusto ko na talaga kumain kahit 1 piece lang habang nasa byahe eh. Haha!


Our driver also dropped us along the highway with this wonderful view!

Our next stop was the Pitstop which was a restaurant that is known for their Mango pizza. It was in their town proper and can easily be found. It was around 2:30pm when we get there and I would say na blockbuster din pala talaga ang place. There were a lot of people probably because it was just right after lunch time. The place was quite small I would say and can get a little crowded on their peak hours. 

Haggard look na naman si ako! :D


My sister ordered their mango pizza (right photo) which is for me tastes quite interesting. Eh mango fan ako so syempre na enjoy ko diba? Instead of using tomato sauce, they used a mango puree (I think) with nuts and bell peppers. It's sweet so swak din sa mga kids although Jami is not a fan of mango so di nya gusto, mas prefer nya ang Hawaiian pizza (nothing fancy).  Don't ask me the price, nilibre lang ako jan! Hahah! 

After our merienda, my sister realized that we are behind schedule because she has to check out on our hotel in Circle Inn Iloilo. She booked for a half-day so the kids will have a place to rest while they pack away the luggage in the car. Hehe! We were rushing inside but the driver asked if we want to take pictures in Guimaras Sign.


We headed back to Jordan port which was quite a breezy experience although there were lines piling up. I would just like to add that it wasn't organized since you have to line up or make singit at your own risk so be careful when you are with kids. 

It was a quick ride back to Iloilo and this is where our Guimaras tour ends. I know it was just a short trip but pretty much everything on our itinerary that we wanted to do were accommodated except the island hopping which was out of our hands to decide on. 

To enjoy most of Guimaras, you may want to stay overnight near the beach. Raymen's beach is a famous one but there were other hotels around. There was also this big hotel that are being built when we were there. To sum up the expenses, please check below. 


The price of multicab can be divided in the number of people inside the cab but if you're a family, sulit na din naman. Also, please don't forget that your island hopping is solely based on how the sea's condition is. Better to go there on summer months to make the best of your island hopping.

I am really glad that finally, I stepped foot in Guimaras Island that I only get to hear or read on books or online. This was the 16th Philippine province so far and I am looking forward to at least visit half. Hehe. =)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Jami at School

You know I am really excited with this new milestone.



Jami is now officially a student! Hahaha! How I wish I could bring him to school everyday but I can't. We have a long way to go before I can become a stay-at-home Mom.

Our first week at school was a struggle. Jami doesn't participate in singing and discussion. He loves to run around, minsan humihiga pa sa sahig or worst, binubuhat ang mga upuan. Of course I was kinda sad and thought na baka masyado ko syang minadali. At first mejo pine pressure ko sya ng slight to listen to teacher etc. Then I felt bad kasi nga first week pa lang talaga ng school eh. Hahah!

I realized that I would have to let him be. Masyado pang mahilig mag play probably because the environment is new to him. We never get a chance to join a summer school since it's not being offered by the school he went to. Although I am confident that he knows the basic and can socialize when he feels like it, I am still worried that he might have an overwhelming feeling regarding this new experience.

I am just really glad that all of my worries was just a first time mommy scares. I am truly confident now that we are on track. After a month of going to school, ako pala ang mao-overwhelm with the amount of things that Jami knows. They did plenty of activities in their books and I am so proud to see perfect scores most of the time. So far, he had 2 mistakes over all activities they did. Sabi ni Nanay sobra naman daw ako maka push to make his scores perfect. But for me, mag aachieve ka na lang, bakit yung hindi pa perfect? If hindi naman maging perfect, just as long as he did his best, then we could try again next time. For me, I want Jami to learn to have a higher goal and achieve it than accept mediocre things when he knows he could have done more. I want him to continuously challenge himself. =)



We had our first exam week last week and I was really shocked na may pa exam na agad si teacher. Haha! I felt slightly nervous because exam na yun eh. I know Moms have tendencies to protect na kung pwedeng tayo na lang ang gumawa pero syempre we can't always help them. A lot of things should be done by themselves and it's necessary to train them this young.

In just a month ang dami na agad nilang na i discuss including the living and non-living things.


A post shared by Jen Alipio (@its_mommy_jen) on

From time to time, nag rereview din kami ng dinidiscuss nila sa school and everyday when I come home from work, I always ask him on what they did for the day. Automatic na din yan that he'll get his bag to show me his books.

I know we have a lot more to learn but seeing him improve really moves me. Ang sarap pala ng feeling that they have take homes from all those experiences. Last weekend, I asked him if happy ba sya sa school and he said Yes. I also asked the names of his friends. He mentioned Brandon and Iya daw.

Anyhow, in the coming days we will have our nutrition month parade and I'll be the one to go with him sa parade. Syempre stage mother tayo ng slight eh. hehe! I just need a costume for it or else we'll go with a hat with Glow Food then P.E uniform na lang. =D

Kayo ba? What are your school activities so far?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Our Jami Started Going to School

The year 2017 offered a lot of things to us. It's a combination of good and bad but still, I am so thankful that we can manage everything.

One of the good things that happened halfway thru the year was Jami going to school for the first time.

I am so excited!!!!!!!

I even planned to save a certain amount for a starter but something came up so we didn't keep that same amount after all. I was sad pero I am so grateful for our families for helping us throughout.

Despite of the struggle, it didn't stop us to continue our new milestone!



Jami is 3 years old, turning 4 this year so I have decided to send him to school. He was a candidate for Nursery 1 since he didn't get any school experience before. I tried looking for schools that offers a summer program for incoming Nursery student but most of the schools around our place don't have one. =(

How we chose the School


Quite frankly, I didn't have much option because we have limited amount of money. I don't even want to spend a fortune at this early stage so I was looking for a school that can give us quality education without creating havoc to our wallets.

My qualifications for choosing the school were:

  • Near our House - This is very important for me since I don't want Jami to get tired of commuting this early. Besides, with all the bad things that happens everywhere, nakaka trauma so gusto ko yung tipong walking distance lang from home. It's cost cutting somehow since I don't want to pay for tuition fee then pay for Jami's fare pa.  

  • Good Education Background - Of course we wanted to send our kids to school na hindi naman sila pababayaan and sure na meron matututuhan. I also want a school where there will be more than 1 teacher in a classroom so they can attend to each students' need.

  • Not too Expensive - with all the private school that's coming here and there, you have to know which school will offer you quality but cheaper naman ng konti diba? I heard pre-schools in Makati charges 30k-40k for a Nursery student! Imagine?? I can't pay that much even maging installment pa. I know we want the best education for our kids but it doesn't mean I have to pay that much naman. Probably when Jami's in elementary, mejo ma accept ko pa ng mejo masakit sa dibdib at katawan. hahahaha! 

Those are the top 3 things that I am looking for so I started searching for schools near our place. I have an officemate who's a pre-school teacher before and I asked about some things to be mindful of. All along I have this 3 school that are all walking distance away.

The first school I have in mind is a really big school with college students na din meaning it was really expensive talaga, around 40k na din in total. The second school was nearer but it was a small school. They offered Pre-school only and they have one room for nursery and kinder with different schedule.The last one is a day care center pero tatawid pa ng highway and I was kinda 50-50 on that kasi ayaw ko nga ng tatawid ng highway. Nakakapraning kaya with all those big trucks and buses diba! You'll never know.

So ending, we choose school number 2. Although it was a small school, it's cheaper compared to school 1 and a lot closer to our home. Jami doesn't have to cross the highway and that I heard good reviews from other moms about the quality of education from school 2. Anyway, I don't want to send him to school na sobrang expensive tapos hindi ko naman kayang bayaran diba? Or yung hirap na hirap naman akong mag commit sa expenses. I am sure it wouldn't be a very nice experience especially for Jami when he has to stop going to school because we can't afford or he would not take exams because wala pa akong pera to pay for his tuition fee. That'll break my heart big time kaya dun lang kami sa kaya ng bulsa namin ni Daryl. Hehe!



During summer, I went there to pay the reservation fee and saw our neighbor's kid. He was enrolled in a 1-1 tutorial class that the teacher's offered for their students. I was surprised that our neighbor can read! Matanda lang sya ng more than a year kay Jami and he only started school last year pero nakakabasa na sya in tagalog! I was so surprised, naalala ko kasi parang grade 3 na ako natuto mag basa hahahahaha!




Our tuition fee is quite reasonable and they have a very affordable installment plan. They charge for books separately along with school uniforms. We bought our own notebooks and the rest of Jami's school things from Robinson's and National bookstore.

I am looking forward to have a positive experience here in this school! =)

What about you Mommas? How did you choose your kids' school?

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Circle Inn Hotel in Ilo-ilo

After our tiring day in Gigantes Island, we headed straight back to Ilo-ilo City where our accommodation for the night is waiting. We reached the city at around 2 to 3pm. Since we didn't get the chance to eat breakfast nor lunch on our way back to the city, we decided to eat in Jollibee along the way.

I would say, I missed Jollibee because I had a hard time with our food in Gigantes. I am not a fan of seafood so there was a slight struggle on that. Hahah! Don't get me wrong, I want to be as adventurous when it comes to food pero minsan, di ko talaga keri. Lol!

Anyway, Circle Inn Ilo-ilo is located near Ilo-ilo market and Ortiz wharf which was our entry point to Guimaras. My sister did the research and booked the place for us.

We were really tired after our trip from Gigantes so I was really looking forward to a much decent hotel we could stay. I cannot bear another disappointing hotel at that point (read here). I was really glad to see that the lobby looked homey and maaliwalas. It was a plus that they have a pool where the kids could enjoy. My sister checked us in while we gather our things. It costs us Php1,200/room.

We were given rooms in third floor so after we got hold of the key, umakyat na ako agad! Sobrang tiring talaga. Our original plan is to make  it to Guimaras for a half day tour then continue the next day. I guess we don't have enough energy to continue so it was a right move to take the half day off.

Circle Inn Hotel Lobby



This was just outside their lobby. They serve breakfast here, I think. We didn't take their breakfast anymore due to lack of time. We have to be really early for Guimaras the next day. On the left side of this photo was where their swimming pool is.






The kids enjoyed swimming here for an hour or two after we arrived while I got myself busy online. I had full day yesterday with no phone signal. Besides, the hotel's wifi has a good connection.


Our room!








I just realized now na wala pala akong photo of the bathroom. Hahah!

Anyway, I could say that I am satisfied with the room.

  1. It's big with comfy beds and pillows. 
  2. TV works fine with Sky Cable service provider.
  3. Complimentary coffee and tea.
  4. Clean rooms, restrooms, towels and bed.
  5.  They also provided clothes hanger and safety box inside the cabinet. 
  6. Wifi unit given to us upon check-in.
  7. In the heart of Ilo-ilo City. Walking distance to the market place and Ortiz wharf: your entry point to Guimaras. 
I am hoping they could improve on:
  1. No bidet.
  2. Broken exhaust fan on room 301.
  3. Air conditioning unit takes time to cool down the room. As in! 
The room key is attached to a key card that you have to insert on a panel upon entry to get the electricity running. Di ko kasi alam ang tawag dun. Haha! So when we left for dinner, we have to close down everything including the AC. When we got back to rest, it took 3-4 hours before the room felt cool. Although we had a good night sleep in our room despite of the AC, my sister's room wasn't cold at all even after overnight. They have to move the beds where the AC is to be comfortable. My nephew knocked on our door to sleep in our room that night. We were too lazy and tired to ask for another room because all we want to do is to recharge for another day of traveling.

I was thinking, they could have placed the AC where the bed is specially kung hindi naman lumalamig ang unit. Their ac units are placed across the door going out the room so kapag pumasok ka, akala mo malamig na but when you lie down sa bed, grabe! Joke lang pala yung lamig. Haha!

Well then, I would still say that I am happy with our stay even there were slight 'needs improvement section'.  The lady in the reception was accommodating too and they also allowed my sister to pay half day to extend the room use until 5pm.


The Circle Inn Hotel & Suites
Gov Fermin Caram St, Iloilo City Proper, 
Iloilo City, 5000 Iloilo, Philippines
+6333508 0000

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

My 27th Birthday

Two weeks ago, we celebrated my 27th birthday!

Grabe! In 3 years time, 30 years old na ako! It feels weird thinking about it. Hahaha!

Anyway, we had a very simple birthday celebration. Alam nyo naman, hindi ako fan ng mga bonggahan with matching madaming bisita type of birthdays so it was just me, Daryl and Jami who went out after office hours.

Honestly, this is the first time that I worked on my birthday. For the past 9 years, I always celebrate my birthday at home. Automatic yan, naka leave ako from work. For me, birthdays are to celebrate with family. This year was different and it felt weird. Tumatanda na ata talaga ako! Hahaha!

I went to work just so I could earn more leave credits. Halos sagad kasi ako and it was only half of the year. I know we still have plenty of time to celebrate after work so I opted not to go on leave.

So after work, I went to pick the boys up from Ma Belen's house. We were deciding where to eat at that point but the original plan was to try those Buffet restaurant like Vikings. I don't eat in places like these because I find it a waste of money. I don't eat a lot so hindi maluwag sa dibdib ko ang magbayad ng almost Php1,000 just for less than a plate of food. I think my birthday is an exception since I am free while I only have to pay for Daryl. He eats a lot so sulit talaga. I am just trying to convince myself that Php300 is worth to pay for Jami's head but I really felt na hindi makatarungan. Hehe!

Although I am not very willing to pay for the amounts of these buffet resto, I am very welcome with experiences specially when I am with my family so maybe once in our lifetime, we could try. I thought my birthday was the perfect date but when we were talking about it on our way to the mall, nag back out ako because I really felt it was a waste of money.

We asked Jami what he wanted to eat because we really can't decide.

Me: Jami what do you want to eat?

Jami: Hmmmm...

Me: Spaghetti? Chicken?

Jami: Hmm.. No!

Me: What about Pizza?

Jami: Yess.. Pizza, Pizza!

So we finally settled to Shakey's. Unfortunately, mejo maliit yung branch nila in Mall of Asia so we have to wait in line for our turn. Even so, I was glad with their service and the food, of course.

We ordered the combos with pizza, pasta, chickens and mojos for Php1,300. It was a filling meal, we even had food to take home.




We inquired about their freebie for a birthday celebrant but you have to be a card holder for you to get a pizza. Their card costs Php499 (same as the large pan pizza you'll get as a celebrant) which will automatically give you 10% discount for your purchase. However, we decided not to get the card since it won't be economical to get a large size pizza with a card then shell out Php499 for one time. I couldn't tell if we will eat in Shakey's quite a lot so a discount card will be of no use.




At some point, some of their crew approached a table near us and sang happy birthday. Jami was looking forward to that! Haha! He might be thinking they were singing because of me, lol!

Anyway, I really love this kind of birthday - with family. That's all I could ask for. It's practical than celebrating with a lot of people. I never got used on getting too much attention on my birthday. Nahihiya kasi ako, lol! So yeah, I prefer my birthday's to be this special. =)

Looking back, I can't believe that for the past 5 years of my life, I did something new.

At the age of:

22, I was introduced with traveling. I considered it my "most traveled year so far".

Nov 2012 at Malacanang of the North

23, I became pregnant and a Mom to Jami.


24, I became an entrepreneur and managed my first online business.


25, I learned the basics of baking and started earning money thru it.


26, I overcame the fear of biking.



I can't believe I had some progress made. It was worth tracking them. Minsan akala ko, boring na ang buhay and paulit-ulit na ang ginagawa ko. Yun pala, I am making these small progress and I am a better version of me. Na- amaze ako! =D I was looking forward to doing or learning something new this year!



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Gigantes Hideaway Inn 2017 Experience

Finding a place to stay at when you are traveling can be really tricky. You don't know what surprises the place will bring you. It can either be good or bad things, right? Well, it's a good thing that information are available over the internet nowadays. You can search almost all places with recommendations from bloggers and backpackers so hindi ka nangangapa in the place you're going to.

Before our Gigantes trip, my sister and I looked for a nice place to stay. As I have mentioned on my previous posts, we would like to DIY as much as we can.

Gigantes Hideaway Inn is a famous place to stay in Gigantes Island. I would say famous because most travel bloggers who stayed here recommends the place.

Why Gigantes Hideaway Inn?


There were 3 resorts that my sister looked into: 

Gigantes Hideaway Inn - was really responsive on my text messages. They answered my questions although I felt bitin at some point since their answers weren't direct to the point. Probably because they were trying to offer packages and I am looking for a DIY fees, so it might be a reason they can't quote me a proper price. We later on decided to book their accommodations only since my sister managed to rent a local boat from a relative.

Rosewood Resort - was also on our list but they were really hard to contact. They respond to my text and facebook messages after a day or so which isn't really helpful if you're cramming to find an accommodation for your upcoming trip.

I also tried to contact Arjan Resort but they were closed during our trip due to family problem, says the person whom I sent a text message to.

To make sure we have a place to stay at, we settled in Hideaway Inn.

 Communication

 

Since the island doesn't have a phone coverage, except on a certain part of the island they called "Call Center" as other blog says, I was really worried that it will be hard to communicate with the hotel. I thought wrong since they reply to my messages quicker than the other two resorts.

During our stay, we weren't able to make calls or even texts since literally no phone signal is available. 

Packages 

 

Gigantes Hideaway Inn offers packages which includes Island Hopping including tour guide, Boat transfers, Full board meals (breakfast, Lunch and dinner) add accommodation of fan room. This complete package costs Php2,185/head per adult and kids 7 years old and above while 6 years old and below are free of charge. This package meant a public transportation from Estancia to Gigantes Island at 10am and 2pm the day of your arrival.

Since we were 10 pax at the time of my inquiry, and we weren't sure if we can make it to 10am public boat, I asked how much it will cost for a private boat for transfers and island hopping. This way, we could manage our own time and plan our own itinerary. The amount will be at Php2,500/head which we felt quite steep.

Accommodations

 

The Inn charges Php200/head for their fan room while additional Php500-1,100/per room (on top of the Php200/head) for air conditioned rooms. 

Originally, my sister booked an air conditioned room for Php1,100x4 adult (Php200/each) = Php1,900 while I found the Php200/head fan room comfortable since I want to experience the "probinsya style" which was a bad idea after all. Lol! I have Jami with me and it's quite humid at some point. One fan isn't enough for him and me plus Nanay who would stay in our room too. I decided to upgrade to air conditioned room at that instant. They offer rooms good for 3 or 4 occupants. Rooms good for 3 are rooms inside an old big house with 4 rooms, a huge living room, kitchen (with no equipment) and an outdated, dirty bathroom. I paid Php200x2 + 500 (for AC room) = Php900.

 

Rooms

 


The AC room for 3 persons gave us very basic things. It has 1 double bed and 1 single bed, a fan and an AC. We also have 3 pillows and a very small blanket. Hehe! You know I could live in this, di naman ako choosy. What's important for me is that, Jami can comfortably sleep at night. I wasn't just really happy with the restroom since it looked dirty, stinks, and old. It has a very old plastic drum that's broken and looked really dirty. No sink available but a broken and old mirror. The water supply isn't good so kelangan mo muna mag ipon ng water sa sirang drum before you can take a bath.

Nanay wasn't glad either since she doesn't want to stay in a very big house tapos walang katao-tao. Haha! Talk about scared of ghosts. 

The room given to us was a makeshift room made from wood. For me, it looked like an old dining space that was converted to a room. Our walls were made from woods that divided us from living room and the kitchen. I wasn't happy since there were three other rooms in the house and it seem to be deserted so I can't understand why we can't occupy that.

Meanwhile, my sister's room that are good for 4 occupants looked better and they have their own restroom. I forgot to mention that electricity is only available from late afternoon to 6am the next day so to make the room cooler, you can open the windows and doors in the morning. You'll just have additional guests by then - the flies. =D 

Food

 


Included on Hideaway's package are the full board meals. They would refer to it as Buffet style but when we were there, it was plated, so it was Buffet-plated meal. They serve seafood only so if you are a fan of seafood, then it's a feast. For some who aren't, it's kinda tricky. For I am a very picky eater, I had trouble liking the food since it's very new to me. Lol! I don't eat a lot when traveling so it wasn't an issue anyway. I'm sorry for I have no photos of their food. I will work on it on my future travel. =) Their buffet-plated meal are for php185/head which includes 3-4 types of seafood viand and rice. Gigantes are rich in scallops, fishes and squids so expect that these are the food they would likely to serve.


Services

 


One thing that I am not really happy about was their services. When we came to Bulubadiang Island, where their hotel extension is, a guy approached my sister and said that he was the tour guide assigned to us for our entire stay. Since we have our own boat and the boatmen/relatives could take and tour us to our destinations, we opted not to take a tour guide from Hideaway Inn. We advised him that we only wanted the accommodations and that we will take care of our island hopping etc. He said it was okay so we proceed with our island hopping and went to Hideaway Inn in the late afternoon for check in. 

Since our relative brought food with them, we asked them to cook it for us for a fee of Php150. Came dinner, we asked what they have in their menu that we can order. They then asked if we have our tour guide because he's also in charge of everything like food, accommodation, etc. So meaning, the tour guide isn't just for touring you around but also in-charge of everything you might require. Because we wanted to DIY and didn't opt for a tour guide, we ended up with only ourselves with everything we need in the resort. We asked if we can buy whatever they can cook for us but since they offer "Buffet" food, we could only buy if there are extra serving. 

It was kinda frustrating knowing that they can't help us with our requests because we only paid for accommodation and not their "package". They were expecting our own boatmen to assist us throughout. Pano naman mangyayari yun? Our boatmen doesn't work in the resort. It's as if they were trying to explain to us that we need to get a tour guide if we want them to assist us. We were leaving early next day, it won't be practical to get one either. We contented ourselves with the food brought by our relatives and ordered two of their "buffet-plated" meal. 

We checked out early next day so we can go back to Estancia port before lunch. We asked how much do we have to pay in total and noticed they weren't organize at all. They are not even sure how many food we took on lunch. We paid them and just before we left the hotel, a lady approached us and said we haven't paid the drinks we took for dinner. I can't believe it wasn't even included on the final bill we paid. Anyhow, I was really glad we're leaving since I can no longer tolerate the services.

My Take 

 


These were our experience of the resort. It may be different from others who took their packages. It seemed that they advertise their packages too much, they failed to offer good services for those who prefer DIYs. Or probably because they thought we were locals because of our relatives and our own boat so they lack the assistance and services they usually provide to tourists. Even so, would it only be fair to treat every guests fairly?

If I will be asked if I'll recommend the resort? No I won't. I will not go back there at all.

I loved Gigantes Island and there's so much I have yet to see but I'll sure try other resorts. We were told by our relatives that the owner was the first tourism officer of Gigantes Island so it was probably the reason why it was so famous, but then there were other resorts that looked well-maintained.

When we went to Gigantes Island, I lowered the expectations of the resorts since it wasn't like the ones that we see in Manila. I am totally aware that this will be a pobinsya-like way and that I have no complaint on that. I just thought that based on the reviews that I have read from other bloggers, that this resort will give us a homey and stress-free stay. For the amount we pay, the resort is not well-maintained. Oh by the way, the tour guides were having their drinking session on their mini bar while we eat dinner. At first I was thinking there were guests too, but later on realize that they weren't.

Please also note that their swimming pool is no longer available. If it is, I tell you, it's really small. I wasn't even in the mood to take pictures of the resort because I don't recommend it at all.

This summarize our stay on Gigantes Hideaway Inn. This is not to ruin their nice online reviews since this resort's target customers are those who are backpacking. For family with kids, look elsewhere or get a tour guide and pay more so they could accommodate your concerns.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Family Trials

You know, I really love the month of June!

Aside from it being my birth month, I felt I receive more trials during this time of year, every year.

Hahaha! Exage! But yes, that's what I usually feel whenever my birthday comes.

The past couple of weeks, I was really stressed. Although we received good news too, I can't keep being happy for too long because of other things that we have to face.

Well, instead of dwelling into those negative things, I'll share with you those that are good ones. Sabi nga nila diba? Don't dwell on negativity. Be happy and the universe will conspire to make your wishes come true.

Char! Ako lang nag imbento nyan, but sort of like that yung mga kasabihan diba? Hahaha.

On June 14th, we had the chance to celebrate my birthday. I wasn't really expecting anymore since we have a lot of things to bear in mind first but Daryl, as he always does, want to make sure that I'll get to celebrate my birthday. We were originally planning to eat in Vikings but decided to eat somewhere else to save money.




The past weekend, we celebrated Father's Day in advance. We ate in Bonchon kasi favorite ni Daryl yung Bibimbow nila. Also we bought school supplies for Jami.



We decided to buy Jami's things in Robinson's Las Pinas para maiba lang. We always go to SM Southmall which at times, gets really crowded. I would say that mas madami lang talaga ang options in SM Southmall.



Jami had his first day of school yesterday!! For the past two days that I am observing him, I'll blog about it in a separate post. This is a such a big milestone I have to document it. Hehehe!



While I was really happy with Jami's new endeavor, I am equally happy with Daryl's first day at work. =) He was finally called to start and signed the contract. I know that he's excited with this just like I am.

So there, these are the things that I am really glad about despite of all the trials that the family faces now. To give you a hint, one of it was the "looking for nanny immediately" part. Since Daryl now have a job, no one will look after Jami. We need one really soon! I am hoping we could find one who would really take care of him, yun bang may malasakit.

Oh God! Please help us.